Growing up in a tiny Canadian farming town, (tiny as in 1,000 people!) The excitement and joy of Christmas was always a huge part of my life. I was raised in a Christian home, as a practicing Mormon and I continue to practice and hold it dear to this day. I always knew that Christmas time, at its core, was to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
The meaning of Christmas is a day of thanksgiving and rejoicing—a day of good cheer and goodwill to men and women. The wholesomeness of its true meaning is something that I continue to look forward to all year, and find so much gratitude that it was something that I was raised with.
There are 10 symbols of Christmas that I would like to share with you.
1. The Star: The star is one of the most recognizable symbols of the holiday. The star led the Wise Men to Jesus and reminds us to follow the light of the Savior just as the Wise Men followed the light of the star to find Him.
2. Lights and Candles: Christmas lights can remind us that Jesus Christ is the Light of the World. They can also remind us to be lights to others and to help others come unto Christ.
3. The Tree: Even before Christ’s birth, trees that stayed green all year long carried special meaning for people. A green, thriving tree in the dead of winter reminded people of hope and new life. Because of Jesus Christ, we can have everlasting life so we can choose to see the evergreen tree as a natural symbol of Him and His gift to us.
4. Poinsettias: Their shape resembles a star, like the one that led the Wise Men to Jesus. Red poinsettias can remind us of the blood that Christ spilled for us. White poinsettias can symbolize His purity.
5. Holly: Holly is used as a Christmas decoration all over the world. The sharp edges of the holly leaf can remind us of the crown of thorns placed on the Savior’s head. The red holly berry can remind us of His blood shed for all of us. Christians have long seen this symbol repeatedly.
6. Wreaths: Traditionally, wreaths are made of evergreens such as pine branches or holly. Their circular shape can represent eternity. Wreaths hung on doors or in windows are like a symbolic invitation for the spirit of Christmas to fill our homes with the joy of the season.
7. Bells: They can symbolize the announcement of the birth of Christ when angels in heaven praised God and declared, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:14)
8. Candy Canes: The candy cane is in the shape of a shepherd's crook. They can remind us of the staff carried by the shepherds who visited the baby Jesus. As you enjoy a candy cane, remember that Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd.
9. Stockings: The tradition of Christmas stockings comes from an old legend. A long time ago (so the story goes), a poor man had three daughters and couldn’t afford to give them a dowry (money or goods given to the groom’s family by the bride’s family). A Christian bishop named Nicholas heard about the problem and wanted to help, but the man
10. Gifts: Christmas is the season of giving. The Three Wise Men brought gifts to Jesus upon his birth. They brought gold, for its kingship, frankincense, as a symbol of deity, and myrrh, an embalming oil. The Holiday season is about giving from the heart. I think we all need to remember that.
Poem by John Wallingford
Christmas is not a day or a season, but a
Condition of heart and mind.
If we love our neighbors as ourselves;
If in our riches we are poor in spirit and in
Our poverty we are rich in grace;
If our charity vaunteth not itself, but suffereth long and is kind;
If when our brother asks for a loaf, we give
If each day dawns in opportunity and sets in
Achievement, however small;
Then every day is Christ’s day and Christmas
Is always near.
I hope that during this holiday season, no matter how you choose to celebrate, that you remember the meaning of Christmas, and hold it’s preciousness, hope, and glory close to your heart and in your deeds.
Merry Christmas dear friends…